A Revitalized Rear Addition in Melbourne Connects a Victorian With a Verdant Garden
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A Revitalized Rear Addition in Melbourne Connects a Victorian With a Verdant Garden

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By Melissa Dalton
Faced with an inadequate ’80s addition on a grand Victorian home, Figureground Architecture intervenes with a striking treatment that weaves together house and garden.

"The heritage front section of the house had been recently renovated, so it was our task to reconsider the dysfunctional living spaces that had been added to the rear in the late ’80s," says Figureground Architects of Malvern House in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. "Our strategy was to maximize the north-facing garden and to embrace external spaces as if they were extra rooms in the house." 

To that end, the firm installed floor-to-ceiling, black steel-framed glazing in strategic spots to ensure that every aspect of the exterior could be seen and enjoyed from the interior.

The dining room overlooks the smaller southern courtyard, with chairs by Meizai and a sculpture by Den Holm. The floors are engineered oak throughout.

The dining room overlooks the smaller southern courtyard, with chairs by Meizai and a sculpture by Den Holm. The floors are engineered oak throughout.

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The artwork by Ted Powell is a counterpoint to the lush greenery outside.

The artwork by Ted Powell is a counterpoint to the lush greenery outside.

The kitchen was conceived as a "pod" that subtly separates the living and dining areas. The pendant light over the Carrara marble island is by Archier.

The kitchen was conceived as a "pod" that subtly separates the living and dining areas. The pendant light over the Carrara marble island is by Archier.

A butler's pantry with abundant prep space is concealed behind the kitchen's dark-stained timber woodwork so that the homeowner can ready dinner parties without having all of the mess on display.

A butler's pantry with abundant prep space is concealed behind the kitchen's dark-stained timber woodwork so that the homeowner can ready dinner parties without having all of the mess on display.

The super functional (and hidden) butler's pantry allows the kitchen to remain streamlined and clutter-free.

The super functional (and hidden) butler's pantry allows the kitchen to remain streamlined and clutter-free.

A wall of glazing across from the kitchen pod connects to a centrally located courtyard, with landscaping by Eckersley Garden Architecture.

A wall of glazing across from the kitchen pod connects to a centrally located courtyard, with landscaping by Eckersley Garden Architecture.

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Crescent Garden Delano Planter
Crescent Garden Delano Planter
Serve up a big bowlful of modern design--along with plants--with the Crescent Garden Delano Planter. It is large bowl-shaped planter made out of rotation molded polymer resin.
The courtyard lets the reimagined addition live as a "modernist ruin," with vines encouraged to grow and further blur the boundary between inside and out. The outdoor table and chairs are by Tait.

The courtyard lets the reimagined addition live as a "modernist ruin," with vines encouraged to grow and further blur the boundary between inside and out. The outdoor table and chairs are by Tait.

The central courtyard connects to a raised deck for socializing within easy access to the kitchen.

The central courtyard connects to a raised deck for socializing within easy access to the kitchen.

The living room received windows with deep reveals and a natural sand cement render to one wall to impart a "moodier" vibe.

The living room received windows with deep reveals and a natural sand cement render to one wall to impart a "moodier" vibe.

Artwork by Judith Wright, of Sophie Gannon Gallery, overlooks a side table from Douglas and Bec and a rug sourced at Halcyon Lake.

Artwork by Judith Wright, of Sophie Gannon Gallery, overlooks a side table from Douglas and Bec and a rug sourced at Halcyon Lake.

Related Reading: A Melbourne Victorian Is Lovingly Renovated to Extend its Life Story

Project Credits:

Architecture: Figureground Architecture / @figuregroundarchitecture

Builder: P.M Versteegen & Sons / Michael Versteegen

Structural Engineer: Kersulting

Landscape Design: Eckersley Garden Architecture

Stylist: Beck Simon

Photography: Eve Wilson